Each year, Sundance Institute provides unrestricted grant support to a small number of filmmakers who have ongoing documentary projects in various stages. Of the 35 projects, 5 are in development, 15 in production, 10 in post-production and 5 are in the process of creating social impact campaigns.
“This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Documentary Film Program (DFP), which throughout its time has been a vibrant and impactful global resource for independent non-fiction storytelling. This granting cycle’s recipients have roots in 31 countries, with 57% of submissions coming from outside the United States. Among the 14 U.S. films granted this year, all are helmed by at least one BIPOC director and/or lead producer; two of these projects are directed by Indigenous filmmakers. Internationally, the Documentary Film Program prioritizes supporting artists living and working in countries that lack an adequate infrastructure of support for independent film and/or regions where freedom of expression may be at risk. The 21 international projects supported by the Fund in this cycle fully reflect such commitment.” – Sundance
Congratulations to the following Doc Studies alums who have works in progress and received grant support. Learn more about their documentaries below and check out the full list of recipients here.
Igor Myakotin (Doc Studies ’16)
Igor is an Emmy-nominated BAFTA-winning filmmaker who co-produced feature-length documentary Welcome to Chechnya (Sundance ‘20, Berlinale ‘20). He is a 2022 Sundance Producing Fellow and was named by DOC NYC as one of the “40 Under 40” working in documentary. Igor believes that cinema is not a way to escape reality but a way to embrace it with all its peculiarities and its darkness. Most recently, Igor worked on a short documentary called Race to Save the World. Narrated by Oprah Winfrey, the film tells the story of the worldwide cooperation involved in the race to make the vaccine. It was simulcast primetime across the major networks as part of Global Citizen’s VAX LIVE concert. Previously, Igor directed two award-winning shorts, has been awarded a Davis Peace and Diplomacy grant at the International House in NY. Igor is a member of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and an alumnus of NextDoc. (Website)
Director & Co-Producer: Agniia Galdanova
Synopsis: Gena, a queer artist from a small town in Russia, dresses in otherworldly costumes made from junk and tape, and protests the government on the streets of Moscow. She stages radical performances in public that become a new form of art and activism – and put her life in danger.
Alexis Neophytides (Doc Studies ’08)
Alexis is a documentary filmmaker and educator based in New York City. Her work largely centers around community and how we find meaning in people and place. She is the co-creator, co-director and producer of Neighborhood Slice, a documentary series that tells the stories of longtime New Yorkers who’ve held onto their little corner of the city despite fast-growing gentrification, broadcast on public television. She produced and directed the series 9.99, for which she won a NY Emmy. Her short documentaries Doctor Kong, Coney Island’s for the Birds and Ethan 2018 all screened at festivals worldwide, and were broadcast on the Documentary channel and online as a Vimeo Staff Pick. She is currently in post-production on two feature length documentaries, Dear Thirteen and Fire Through Dry Grass. Over the past decade she has developed filmmaking programs, implemented curricula and taught students all around NYC. In 2019 Alexis was a visiting artist for OPEN DOORS, where she met the Reality Poets and began working with Jay. She holds a BA from Brown University and an MA in Media Studies from The New School. (Website)
Co-Director: Andres “Jay” Molina & Co-Producer: Jennilie Brewster
Synopsis: On a tiny island in NYC, a group of Black and brown disabled artists fight COVID-19 and the city to protect the lives of 500 vulnerable nursing home residents.
Follow Igor and Alexis to keep up with their ongoing projects and achievements! Catch the premiere of Alexis’ feature documentary, “Dear Thirteen”, at DOC NYC this coming week. Congrats as well to Igor for making it onto DOC NYC’s 40 Under 40 list this year, which highlights emerging talent in the documentary world.